More than 500 years and 25,000 daily visitors later, and Rome's Sistine Chapel still remains one of Michelangelo's greatest works. Yet had it not been for the scarce funding of Michelangelo's current project—a marble tomb for Pope Julius II—the remarkable painting may have never happened. Once the reluctant artist agreed to paint the chapel, so began one of his most highly-regarded masterpieces. The chapel itself, named after Pope Sixtus IV, the project's commissioner, shares the same dimensions as the Temple of Solomon as described in the Old Testament. Of that space, 12,000 square feet are covered in Michelangelo's rendering of God, Adam and angels.
And although the chapel artwork's beauty is most apparent, its meaning and messages may be more subtle. Theories behind the imagery, style and spacing have revolved around God's first passage of intelligence to humans, secret messages hidden in God's robes, and maybe even the secret to life. Check out this playlist to learn more about this astounding chapel and peel back the many meanings that lie within the walls.